Luxembourg has always been a country that has tried to reinvent its own future, not unlike Rome, a sovereign act that is based in the landlocked country which has not only reinvigorated what is commonly and generically referred to as "neofolk," but has never ceased to reinvent itself with each and every incarnation -- be it in a live environment or via studio recordings.
Rome recently released their new album The Lone Furrow.
Time for us to check with the creative force behind the project, i.e. Jerome Reuter, in a Q&A about what his art means to him.
Scene Point Blank: Please explain what you do to someone who is not familiar Rome’s oeuvre.
Reuter: I prefer leaving that to the authorities, but let me just say that it is a genre of music that came to life with the immediate post-punk movement, while also having its roots in traditional folk songwriting.
Scene Point Blank: Why do you do what you do and artistically, what is your goal?
Reuter: I guess that, after all, I am indulging in a simple quest for beauty. As I see it, only beauty can redeem our suffering. As beauty has come under threat and is somewhat rare these days. Art can, after all, shine a light of meaning on ordinary life and through the pursuit of beauty we shape the world as a home and find consolation for our sorrows.
Scene Point Blank: Is it important to you for Rome to be understood?
Reuter: It is not essential to my work. On the contrary, I believe it is not music that seeks the easy answers and thus being misunderstand kind of comes with the territory.
Scene Point Blank: What art do you most identify with?
Reuter: Anything with balls, but music is certainly the main art form that has been changing my life constantly since I was a child.
Scene Point Blank: What is your strongest memory of your childhood?
Reuter: Having my world turned upside down when hearing people like Leonard Cohen sing. I must have been about 9 or so and I didn’t understand a word of English at the time, of course, but you could just absolutely tell that the guy had something to say. And that it was important. I guess I have aspired to that…
Scene Point Blank: Please describe a recent real-life situation that inspired you.
Reuter: There is no such thing. Inspiration comes from the work itself. I am interested in stuff and I satisfy my curiosities. That in itself is inspiring. For a long time there has been this misconception that the artist needs to suffer in order to create. That is utter rubbish. The healthier and clear-headed you are, the more inspired you get and the more work you get done. I am a bit of a hedonist too, but there is a place for that outside of my work. The work itself is already extremely rewarding. At least, that is how I see it. But touring is a different thing, of course. That can be cruel.
Scene Point Blank: Name three artists you would like to be compared to.
Reuter: It has already happened many times, so I am completely fine with where I am.
Scene Point Blank: What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Reuter: If you do not have anything good to say, better say nothing at all.
Scene Point Blank: What is your greatest fear?
Reuter: Losing my voice, I guess.
"For a long time there has been this misconception that the artist needs to suffer in order to create. That is utter rubbish. The healthier and clear-headed you are, the more inspired you get and the more work you get done."
Scene Point Blank: Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Reuter: Not trying to be glib, but identifying with someone like that would be rather presumptuous of me. And I cannot for the life of me single out one particular individual, as I am constantly discovering stuff and changing my mind and perspective on things.
Scene Point Blank: Which living person do you most admire?
Reuter: Oh, they are all dead now, unfortunately. I admire anyone who thinks his own thoughts, stands by his values and dares to risk his livelihood for a cause he truly believes in.
Scene Point Blank: What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Reuter: The sheer lack of patience for such questions.
Scene Point Blank: What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Reuter: Probably their patience for such questions.
Scene Point Blank: How would you like to die?
Reuter: I am working on a growing list of enemies, so I would not want to give them any ideas on how to not respect my wishes.
Scene Point Blank: What is your favourite motto?
Reuter: Memento audere semper
Scene Point Blank: What does the future hold for Rome?
Reuter: I am working on a new release, believe it or not. And we will of course resume touring as soon as we possibly can.
Our new album The Lone Furrow featuring many big names from the metal scene [came] out on August 28, 2020.